This five-year work plan continued our work in pioneering land-based, closed containment water recirculation systems for salmonid food fish production that are biosecure, have an easily controlled rearing environment, produce healthy and optimally performing fish, and produce manageable effluent for significant reduction in waste discharge.

Funding: USDA Agricultural Research Service
Lead Scientist: Dr. Steven Summerfelt
Project Duration: 5 years

Specifically, our research investigated the:

  • biological and economic feasibility of raising Atlantic salmon to market size in freshwater recirculation systems (as opposed to coastal net-pens)
  • potential for raising rainbow trout in semi-closed or closed water recirculation systems to further reduce the amount of influent water and point source discharge required for these systems
  • health and welfare of salmon and trout in relation to dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, swimming speed in circular tanks, soy-based feeds, and water ozonation in low-exchange systems
  • potential for greater energy efficiency in water recirculation systems through improved low-lift pumping and gas transfer processes

In addition, our experimental systems will continue to serve as field testing sites for alternative-protein feeds and for salmon and trout strains selected through genetic improvement programs at other USDA facilities. The investigations in this plan built upon the findings of previous USDA-funded research to develop a sustainable, environmentally responsible, and economically viable aquaculture industry in the United States.

See the graphic below for a summary of the work plan's research goals. 
FI USDA 9 Research Goals HRes